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As in previous editions of this publication, the goal of Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2012 is to identify and discuss the flavor and ingredient trends expected to have a major impact in the near future on food consumed both at home and away.
The economic picture for 2012 appears muted at best. Feeling the squeeze, both the employed and out-of-work will continue to practice the frugal behaviors adopted during the Great Recession of 2008, while also attempting to incorporate healthy food choices into their daily routines. Seeking to overcome the boredom of extended frugality, consumers will especially value creative attempts by manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators to affordably introduce variety, comfort and indulgence to their taste experiences.
The unemployment rate, expected to remain high or approach double digits if the country slips back into recession, will be the biggest factor affecting the economy and consumer confidence in 2012. Wage stagnation, high gas prices, higher food prices, continued decline in home values and European financial woes contributed to eroding consumer confidence that encouraged honing frugal purchasing habits in the second half of 2011.
For the foodservice sector in particular, consumer confidence will be crucial in 2012. As Baby Boomers worry more about retirement and cut back on eating out, some foodservice operators will increasingly focus on the preferences of Millennials and Next Generations for driving trends.
When it comes to food at home and away, consumer frugality continues to manifest itself in ever more ways that include shopping from a list, buying less, trading down, using coupons, delaying and combining trips to cut back on gasoline usage, forgoing impulse buying and even small discretionary purchases, and doing more shopping at bulk food stores and dollar stores. In addition, 2012 is likely to see continued paycheck-cycle shopping, whereby consumers buy large quantities right after getting paid, and then switch to buying smaller package sizes as money starts to run out.
The protracted economic doldrums of the last few years have resulted in more ways for consumers to trade down. In addition to switching to private label brands, smaller, cheaper packages of favorite branded items are increasingly available. And consumers will continue to seek out deals and new value offerings.
As consumer budgets shrink further, products that were once considered essentials are now luxury items.
Spending on kids, typically resilient during recessions, has been showing signs of declining. The data suggest that consumers are both reducing purchases and trading down to less expensive private label brands.
The coming year will see more food manufacturers and retailers targeting the growing numbers of high and low end consumers instead of focusing on the shrinking middle class. Much of this is the result of shrinking budgets of the former middle class, now planting them squarely in the group of low income consumers.
Chapter 1 Executive Summary
Forever Frugal and Trading Down
The Downwardly Mobile Middle Class
Going to Extremes
A Look Back and Ahead
Ethnic and Regional Enticements
Trend Watching 2012
Flavor and Ingredient Crossovers
Making Healthy Easier
Beverages Breaking Through
Protein: Lean and Luscious
Chapter 2 Ethnic and Regional Enticements
Beyond Korean & Korean Fusion
Celebrating U.S. Regional Ingredients
Mexican Misconceptions: Appealing to the Hispanic Population
What Foodies Want: U.S. Cities with Ethnic Food Appeal
Table 2-1 Top U.S. Destination Cities with Ethnic Food Appeal
Providence - Portuguese Roots Plus Peculiar Pleasantries
Santa Fe Specialties
Chapter 3 Produce Predominates
Heirlooms: Starting with Old, Very Old, Seeds
Ratcheting Up "Real" with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Produce Promises at Progressive Fast Casuals
Juicing It Up
Produce Pronto: On-the-Go and At Home
Fruit & Veggies On-the-Go
Salad and Cook-Ready Veggies: Available On Demand
Vegetables: The New Luncheon Meat?
Vegetables From the Sea
Edible Plants from the Wild
Food Stamps = Plethora of Produce
Farmers' Markets: Too Many, Too Few, Time for Something New?
Table 3-1 Number of Operating Farmers' Markets in the United States
CSAs and Farmers' Markets - Collaborators or Competitors?
Supermarket Produce - Getting More Local
Supermarket Produce Aisle - THE Place to Be
Veggies, Veggies Everywhere - Except the Diet?
Chapter 4 Trend Watching 2012
New Crop of Young Farmers
Historic Gastronomy: Recreating Recipes of Olde
Linner & Brinner: Millennials Redefine Eating
New Market Formats for DIY Food Crafts
Gourmet Gadgets - Goofy or Godsends?
Perfecting Mini Pies
Whoopie Pies Go Wild
Serious Stuff for Sous Vide Fans
Panini Press On
Yonanas: Going Bananas
New Twists in Food Tourism
Agritourists Seek Farmer Chefs
Tour de Compost
Home is Where the Chicken Roosts
Future Food: Dinner for …… 7 Billion!
Breadfruit Believers Battle Bland
Betting on Bug Bites
Vampires, Line Up
Crossovers: Ingredients in Unexpected Places
Duck Fat: Good for You, or Just Good?
Desserts Get Peppered Up
Waffles - Unwavering
Combos and Value Meals in New Places
Chapter 5 Making Healthy Easier
Plate2 vs. Pyramid
Figure 5-1 USDA Choose MyPlate Icon for Communicating 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Harvard: Healthy Eating Plate
Figure 5-2 Harvard School of Public Health Proposed Healthy Eating Plate Icon
Managing Weight - Still a Hefty Task
Making Dining Out More Nutritious
Ronald's Reckoning: Reinvention Triumphs Over Retirement
The Power of Peer Pressure: Kids LiveWell Program
Dietitians - The New Menu Celebrities?
Consumers' Nutrition Concerns
Gluten-Free Going Gangbusters
Chapter 6 Mostly, Friendlier Fats
Preindustrial Fats - Pure Pleasure
Healthier and Heavenly
Specialty Seed, Nut and Vegetable Oils
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Chapter 7 Beverages Breaking Through
Smoothies: More Shaking & Stirring
Table 7-1 Recently Launched U.S. Retail Smoothie Products
Jazzing Up the Juice
Juice Bar Makeover - Revolution or Evolution?
Retail Market - Less Juicy?
Drink Your Vegetables!
DIY Beverages Get Personal
Portable Powder Sticks Still Popular
Getting Personal, At Home
Chapter 8 Protein: Lean and Luscious
Retailers Increasingly Committed to Sustainability
Boat-to-Table: Hi Tech Enabled
Canned Tuna - Under Attack
The Dietary Guidelines & Seafood Consumption
Savoring Small, Oily Fish
Pies - Not Just for Dessert
Bye, Bye Boxed Beef!
"If It Ain't In a Casing, it isn't worth tasting."
Boastful Burgers - Can You Top This?
Mighty Meat Combos
Chapter 9 Sexy Sandwiches
Glamorous Grilled Cheese - Getting Cheesier
Scanwich: Sandwiches as Art
Super Convenient Sandwiches
Popovers - The Next Sandwich Ingredient?
Chapter 10 Sweet Treats
Luscious Layer Cakes Return
Puddings with Pizazz
Crisps, Cobblers and Other Baked Fruit Desserts
Petite Pies and Other Pleasing Permutations
Worldly Butter Cakes
Kouign Amann: Move Over, Macarons!
Ooey, Gooey Spreads Beyond Saint Louie
The British Are Coming!
Newly Fashioned Nostalgic Flavors
Lemon & Lime
Ice Cream Indulgences
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